New Gretsch - Tone Knob Issue?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by Drock2k1, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    So, my new Gretsch Center Block Falcon arrived this week but I’m running into an odd issue. It’s seems like when rolling the tone knob all the way down, I’m experiencing about an 80% volume loss. Any ideas what might cause this. It happens on every pickup selection. Any idea what might be going on?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2022
  2. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    To my opinion, there may be a short somewhere about the Tone pot... Nothing major, I think.

    I would inspect the wiring closely :
    - some GND touching an unwanted lug of the Tone pot ? o_O
    - defective tone cap ? o_O

    But it's me, OK ? :D

    A+!
     
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  3. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    I should have added, the guitar sounds fairly muddy in general so the tone put would likely be the culprit.
     
  4. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Passive tone controls do this by default - you are carving away at the high end and as a result, a good portion of your volume. Especially if you roll it all the way down.
     
  5. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    So, you are saying this could be by design?
     
    Charles Conner likes this.
  6. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Not quite by design, just by consequence. But I’ll caveat by saying that I’d need to hear it. But just about any time you drop tone 100%, you’re left with very noticeable volume drop.
     
  7. hcsterg

    hcsterg Friend of Fred

    Feb 13, 2012
    France
    Well @Drock2k1 , not by design, but by faulty mounting or wiring, that's why I wrote "nothing major, I think". I mean :

    - relative position of the pots which makes a wire or a lug touches GND (a pot may be turned of 1/4 of a turn to release the wiring and stop the false contact, for example).
    - dead tone cap due to a "severe" installation or soldering (it's rare, but it can arise : too much traction on its lugs, insulation leaky or melted).

    Sometimes, a simple re-arrangement of the wiring can eliminate the problem... An example :

    A pro-luthier friend of mine called me because he was becoming crazy about the silence of one pickup in a solidbody guitar he had in for repairs. When I opened the cavity, I found that one lug of a volume pot gently touched the side of the cavity - which was covered with GND conductive paint... I slightly bent the lug and voilà, problem solved, nothing major.

    I must confess that guitar wirings are unfortunately too often "messy", no matter if it's a entry range or high end model ! o_O

    Now I re-read : your guitar is new and you have a warranty ? Maybe you can return it !

    A+!
     
    Jelly Roll Horton and Drock2k1 like this.
  8. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    I’m going to spend some more time with it today. I don’t remember any of my other Gretsch guitars doing this…but I don’t usually roll the tone down that far either :)
     
  9. Charles Conner

    Charles Conner Gretschie

    Age:
    80
    267
    May 19, 2016
    Maryland
    I had the same trouble with my 2008 model 5120. I made some modifications (personal choices) that improved the tone control operation for me, on my guitar:
    (1) The guitar had a .047 tone cap.... I changed it to a smaller value .022
    (2) Personal choice.... I removed the separate volume controls for each pickup and only have a master volume control on the guitar. No sudden, unexpected changes of volume when I switch pickups in the middle of a song and no need for a "treble bleed ckt."
    (3) Rewire the tone control's position in the circuit. The tone control needs to always see the full signal level from the pickups in order to operate independant of the volume control. So the tone control needs to be before the volume control's changes in the signal level. My guitar's tone control gets it's signal at the input to the volume control, the center pin of the volume control now goes to the output jack.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
    Drock2k1 likes this.
  10. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    So I just listened to my 6119 which should have the same wiring - with tone all the way down, to my ears, it's about 50% less volume. I didn't actually measure the db drop, just going by casual listening. Given how subjective it is, your 80% could be my 50%. Whenever you turn down a tone control 100%, there is a perceived drop in volume. The question is whether or not yours is atypical.

    I'd look at component values all the way around - pots can be notoriously off, caps can be off, pickup height could be off. All of these contribute. I changed my stock pots to CTS when I changed my pickups and there wasn't a ton of difference. But just recently, I put in some sealed ones and they brightened the tone a surprising amount. I originally raised my stock pickups a it and things got more lively as well.

    And Charles has a good point - you really don't need that high a cap value (.047 is usually stock). Changing to .021 would make a difference in your mud.

    Any pops, crackles or static?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
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  11. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    No pops and crackles, very muddy though. Wondering if the volume loss and muddyness is coming from a pickup that needs raised.
     
  12. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Muddy all the time or just not as bright as you would like?
     
  13. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    The neck pickup is always muddy, bridge seems pretty normal. Of course volume on each pup drops significantly with tone rolloff.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  14. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    I talked to a tech here locally (not Gretsch certified but one I do trust) and he said that it sounds like there is a wiring issue. My question is, would this repair be free with a Gretsch certified tech? It is brand new.
     
  15. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Neck pickups can be like that. But again, this can be very subjective.
     
  16. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    I would recommend you go to a shop that has Falcons and compare. It's unlikely that it's a wiring issue from the factory to the extent that you're talking about. Sure, Gretsch can make it right for you, but listen to other ones first. Send us a recording of you going through the ranges? I would really like to hear this.
     
  17. Drock2k1

    Drock2k1 Synchromatic

    634
    Feb 26, 2013
    Indiana
    I found a shop out of town (not Sweetwater as they are 3 weeks before a tech can even look at it) who is an authorized Gretsch dealer and repair center. They said they have run into quite a few guitars lately, not just Gretsch, that have had capacitor or wiring issues out of the box...although not sure where he was going with that. I'm going to take it in, have them look at it and get a full setup. The place I bought this from is willing to give me a refund but honestly, I want it to work. If I have time before I drop it off, I will record what's going on and post it.

    I did test another Gretsch centerblock (not proline) and while the tone knob does cut some volume, it isn't nearly as extreme as what is happening with mine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  18. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Atlanta
    Let us know what you find out! For a new guitar, it's gotta work right!
     
    Drock2k1 likes this.
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